How To Choose the Right Freight Visibility System

While no two logistics professionals will agree on everything, one thing that’s a given for most is the importance of visibility

While no two logistics professionals will agree on everything, one thing that’s a given for most is the importance of visibility. Yet, it’s an ongoing challenge for freight forwarders and their shipper customers to find a reliable technology solution that provides real-time visibility in all the ways a shipper wants. This need for visibility has left a large gap open for various tech startups and supply chain software vendors to try and fill.

The amount of technology that’s available is simultaneously overhyped and underwhelming. There are many new solutions claiming to provide complete supply chain visibility, but many overpromise and underdeliver.

So, how do you choose the right system in a market that’s saturated with so many freight tracking platforms? This is not an easy decision, so it’s crucial that your company understands and is on the same page about what your goals are before you make a big investment in new technology. For example, let’s say you want:

• to know where your freight is at all times
• more accurate and faster access to rates and analytics
• more effective use of your employees’ time
• to increase operational efficiency
• to provide better inventory control opportunities to shippers

Areas like these tend to be the first place logistics providers like freight forwarders focus on when they’re developing a strategy to upgrade their technology and meet their shipper customers’ needs.

Here are some questions that will help you narrow down the options for improving the visibility you have into your own operations as well as what you can provide to shippers:

  1. Does the solution deliver rate transparency?

International shipping rates are always complex. Managing them and keeping on top of additional surcharges and fees that are constantly changing is impossible without the right system. Search for an ocean freight tracking system that will deliver the rate transparency you need as well as the ability to create accurate quotes in real time.

  1. Can it offer advanced shipping scheduling capabilities?

Companies are usually better off leaving the manual back-office tasks such as scheduling shipments and processing paperwork up to leading supply chain software. With support from the right platform, logistics professionals’ time can be put to better use in ways like issue resolution or other higher value-added tasks.

  1. Will you receive timely notifications?

The whole point of tracking cargo is to improve transportation visibility, so if a system isn’t keeping you up to date with timely notifications, then it’s not doing its job. Knowing, with certainty, where your shipper customer’s freight is one of the most basic expectations of a freight forwarder.

  1. Does it include SKU visibility?

One way to have better control over your inventory is to use software that includes tracking on the SKU level — not just the container. Don’t underestimate the benefits of maintaining clear and accurate data on stock levels while freight is in transit because it’s a critical part of forecasting demand and accounting for seasonal highs and lows.

When you understand your goals and how an ocean freight tracking system can help you meet them, you’ll be able to more accurately assess which tracking technology will produce tangible results and give your company an optimal ROI.

Visit GAMA to learn more information about how our best-in-class technology can provide freight forwarders with a tool that delivers complete shipment visibility to their shipper customers.